Ever wondered why the number line has positive numbers on the right side of zero, and negative numbers on the left??? Well, isn’t it obvious, considering the substantial amount of superstition and orthodox opinion surrounding the issue of ‘left-handedness’? Well, as you can see, even mathematics hasn’t been spared the opinion against left-handers.

     Majority of humans use their right hands for most of daily activities, who are the ‘right-handers’. But, there is a minority of humans, who prefer to use their left hands more frequently. They are the ‘left-handers’. Left-handers are the most unorganised minority, being just 10-15% of the total population and scattered without any proper organised behaviour.

     India has a great past and a rich history. Religion came into existence as a set of guidelines and rules to adhere to, by the commons to lead a life of spiritual satisfaction and assure a way to the path of spiritual enlightenment. Later on, the religious notions and beliefs became rigid and took the form of distorted and unfair opinions, often creating a divide. One of these notions is that of the TABOO on the use of left hand. Left-handedness has been looked at with a lot of curiosity, doubt, apprehension and as something dirty, inauspicious, evil or sinister. We, in India have heard and learnt of several cases of left-handedness being ‘corrected’. Children, with the ‘left’ inclination are urgently corrected by their elders and forced to use their right hands for activities such as offerings to deities, receiving a present, or ‘prasad’, or any form of encouragement.

     This has being going on since time immemorial. Without putting much thought into the matter of handedness, our ancestors have been carrying forward with this notion, without stopping to think about the effects of such ‘correction’ on the left-handers. Those believing this notion consider handedness as just a matter of practice, and something that can be easily changed. But, that is not true. Handedness or Hand Preference is an inborn trait. It is not a habit. It is related to brain and Neurological Make-up of the person and can never be changed. An effort to change hand preference can have disastrous effects. It often leads to undeveloped growth of individuals in terms of confidence, and self-doubt in some cases. It also leads to talent getting suppressed and disallowing the complete realisation of the individual’s potential.

     While the scenario is seen changing in educated households, this biased view on handedness is still prevalent in god-fearing families, where left-handedness is still a curse. The world has witnessed left-handers attaining unimaginable goals and becoming achievers in almost all fields. The fields of arts and sports are full of extra-ordinary left-handers. To list a few: Leonardo Da Vinci, a left-hander, was not just a famous painter and artist, he was a scholar and an inventor as well. Innumerable American presidents have been left-handed. Amitabh Bachhan, a legend of the Indian Film industry, is a left hander himself.

     While history shows us repeated examples of the left-handed achievers, the contradictory attitude of society has become an intrinsic part of most left-handers’ lives. Living in a right-handed world isn’t easy! While the lefties make an effort to live a ‘right’ life, they will surely prove to the world, by example, that LEFT IS RIGHT!

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